As a gamer of the Atari and Commodore generation, I find it increasingly difficult to maintain my interest in gaming. Yes, this may be another rant that will be classed as self-entitlement from the subset of new gamers that are used to and accepting of the concept of day one DLC, pre-order content and ‘rewards’ for ploughing cash into online stores, mobile devices and basically, gambling away your money in the hope that the game you purchase might just be worth it all.
First of all, I’m generally okay with DLC, provided that it’s released far enough away from the base game that it doesn’t just look as if it’s been whipped out of the finished product to sell at a later date for extra cash.
Day one DLC in games like Mass Effect 3 and Evolve, despite the quality of the games, are a huge no-no for me personally. It’s so obvious that it’s been clipped and labelled as an opportunity to gouge the customer, who has already paid a fairly decent amount of money for the privilege of playing their game.
It used to be more apparent in the past with cut content, when the downloads were so tiny, you knew it was already on the disc and you were simply unlocking it. Now, with DLC planned so far in advance, sometimes many months ahead of release, is there any excuse for just pulling the content too, other than to make a few extra quid in the process?
My history and struggle with DLC is well documented on n3, but it’s not the only thing that is gradually wearing down both my penchant for the pastime and my wallet leather.
Pre-order content is becoming more and more problematic in the gaming universe too. I would understand if the carrot-on-a-stick offered by publishers had no impact on the content of a game. Maybe a T-shirt, set of badges or a copy of the soundtrack for those who wish to roll the dice before release.
Now, as I stare in disbelief at the news of Rock Band 4 offering pre-order customers ten extra songs that have already been coded before release, I understand that this trend is not going to go away.
For instance, Rock Band 3 on day one, had eighty-three tracks to play when you went home with the box. The fourth in the series will let you strum along to sixty. That is unless you pre-order for the other ten that have been prised away from fans of the plastic guitar in the name of getting some extra sales before release at the expense of the morons that keep supporting this despicable gimmick.
The same goes for Until Dawn’s ‘Special Scene’ that couldn’t just have been left in to those who support Sony. No, it needs to be a reward. Arkham Knight is a serial offender with so much content split into when you bought it and where you bought it, you can’t possibly have a complete game unless you later shell out for it all in the name of (you guessed it) paid DLC.
The penultimate nail in the coffin is the introduction of mobile tie-ins that allow content to be shared between full releases on consoles and PC. This may be a great idea, as most of the world has been brainwashed into buying a new phone or tablet every three months. Some of us however, have sanity enough to just want a device that you can phone or text someone with for a relatively worthwhile price.
I don’t own anything that can play current apps like the mobile version of Mortal Kombat X, which gives you the chance to grab a few extra Kostumes that I can’t obtain by playing the full game I paid the full price for! Pretty fucking annoying, yes?
No? Oh, that’s because you have an iPhone 25 Sex Magnet or Galaxy 36DD. I don’t want to waste my money personally on one of these gadgets that inspire people to take photographs of themselves daily, send pictures of their testicles to old ladies on trains and record assaults with the video function instead of actually stepping in and stopping them.
I want everything that I paid for that has been developed up until the day that publishers deem a game ready, on the fucking disc. Not if I pre-order, not if I pay for it afterwards and not if I have to pay £200 for a damn phone just to unlock everything on a game that costs £50 in the first place.
Along with buggy games that need ten patches before they’re playable, not being able to read a review of a title from a mostly reputable developer until release day and all the things mentioned previously, it’s pretty much a dying hobby for me, as quality and a complete product were important to both publishers and customers only two generations ago. Now, its unfinished games with glitches and the need to sell you an entire product in small parts and people still keep handing over the cash with blinkered eyes.
Look at Konami. They basically exiled Hideo Kojima for asking for more time and money for MGSV, certainly an expensive project but a finished and complete game is better than the dishonor of your company failing due to issues with a dodgy release. Also, 80 million, possibly more to make the game. A lot of money, you will all agree, but if you try to calculate ballpark figures of potential sales from one of the best-selling series in gaming history… Just think. If all customers of the 35 million consoles sold in this generation, bought a copy of The Phantom Pain at an average of £45, Konami would have takings of over one and a half billion pounds.
That doesn’t even include PC sales and last generation consoles. So what in the fuck is wrong with Konami wanting quick releases and a fast buck over a quality product that will increase their reputation and sales in future? Another reason to hate the business, especially since they canned Silent Hills and we’ll maybe never see another Castlevania, just so they can make sodding mobile games.
I think I’ve went on enough about this over the years, but it needs repeating. Stop pre-ordering and buying day one DLC and we’ll maybe see a change back to the trend where everyone got the final product for a final price, DLC is finally back to full-sized expansion packs (see The Witcher III) and the quality of games on release day would correspond to the much-needed good reviews from journalists who have played the full product at least a couple of weeks before, found that there are no huge problems because people wait until they see how much hard work went into the games before they ante-up the money for them.
Or, just continue on as you all were. People don’t seem to notice large-scale cons going on right in front of their eyes these days…